[hackerspaces] Member Polices/Agreements

Matt Joyce matt at nycresistor.com
Mon Oct 4 19:58:57 CEST 2010

Rule Number one in rule making.  Don't solve issues that don't exist.  You
have enough on your plate.

Deal with situations as they arise.  Don't bike shed yourself into a
corner.  As state earlier, a lot of stuff solves itself organically.  When
something comes up that needs discussion, discuss it.  Until then have some
faith in people.

NYCR has no leaders btw.  No central committee, politburo, or triumverate of
hack.  It's generally not necessary.  People tend to be pretty good about
stuff.  I don't understand why anyone would want leaders.  It's silly.
Personally I find it to be counter productive.
On Oct 4, 2010 10:46 AM, "Adam D Bachman" <adam.bachman at gmail.com> wrote:
> At Node we worked from the stance of: "don't make (me|us) make a
> (rule|policy)". I think we got it from Nick Farr, but the idea is pretty
> common. We're not specifically anarchists, but we trend towards
> anti-hierarchy, so if we all agree something shouldn't be done (it's
> sense) then we don't do it. If there's an issue with the landlord ("no
> explosions", for example) then we don't do it. If there's an issue with
> personal safety or the destruction of someone else's property, then we
> do it. (you get the picture).
> rule enforcers
> This sounds like a recipe for hurt feelings. Inside/outside, us/them
> mentalities break down relationships, are probably bad for a functioning
> collective. Unless you're not looking for a collective and want a strong
> hierarchy. In that case, make lots of rules and signs and stuff.
> public membership agreements
> Ours is here:
> http://wiki.baltimorenode.org/index.php?title=Membership_Agreement . Most
> it is cribbed from somewhere else. Most of it is also only in there
> it's "official".
> - - - - -
> Probably the hardest thing to get over as a member of a hackerspace
> committee is that other people will want to do and will do things you
> want them to do. This is also one of the hardest things to get over as a
> parent, btw. At the point you realize that, the best thing to do is get
> over yourself and let them do it. Two rules of thumb: pick your battles
> wisely and pick fewer battles.
> If there's a problem with the law (national or local), then the solution
> organic (as in life, not chemistry: solution arises as a natural outcome
> the cause), they will be caught and punished. If there's a problem with
> other people ("damn, I hate it that George burns his hair with a soldering
> iron for fun and he's a weirdo") then the solution is also organic, George
> will be cut out of the group and will eventually stop coming. Hackerspaces
> are intensely social organizations, social pressure is their most powerful
> (or *only* powerful) weapon against internal enemies-of-the-state.
> More to the point, even if you make a perfect list of rules and add things
> to it and put up lots of signs, the only weight it carries is whatever
> social pressure the hackerspace can exert. Similarly, anything that is not
> on your list of rules but is enforced via social pressure will be as good
> law (e.g., "the first rule of hackerspace is that you *don't* talk about
> Windows in a complementary fashion").
> The continuum of "more rules!" vs. "it is what it is" has a big fuzzy grey
> area in the middle and that's okay. Your space has to find a balance
> "respect your fellow members" and "if you want it done right, do it
> yourself".
> - Adam
> On Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 12:38 PM, Matt lehner <mlehner at gmail.com> wrote:
>> In conjunction with developing the by-laws for Buffalo Lab, I am
>> concerned about having a Membership Agreement and associated AUPs.
>> From a managerial point of view it is important to have a common set
>> of rules and regulations people can abide by. Though, it seems at odds
>> with the openness of the general hackerspace mentality.
>> As an organization we do not want to be dictating rules at every turn,
>> but over the year Buffalo Lab has been operating.. questions about
>> rules and what is allowed has come up repeatedly. We have resorted to
>> signs around the space stating DO and DON'T but that can't continue
>> forever.
>> What have other hackerspaces done in regards to disseminating rules to
>> members? Is it generally on a case by case basis, or do other
>> hackerspaces have a set of rules that all members are aware of.
>> Lastly, enforcing rules seems to be the hardest part of all. Partly
>> because of timing, rule enforcers cannot be at the space 24/7 and not
>> all members are comfortable confronting people. But also how is
>> fairness handled? Do people use a 3-strike rule or zero-tolerance
>> policies?
>> I know I asked a lot of questions, and some might be answered by
>> looking at another space's rules, policies or aup. I quickly scanned
>> through the websites of various hackerspaces and did not find many or
>> any public membership agreements to speak of. So if anyone does have
>> one, that would be a huge help.
>> Thanks, Matt
>> _______________________________________________
>> Discuss mailing list
>> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
>> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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